The 10 commandments of a salon-quality blowout (without the salon)
You know how humidity causes frizz? Well, blow-drying your hair in a muggy bathroom has the same effect. Move the operation to the bedroom.
There are two things you should never do with a towel: rub your hair (it causes frizz) or wrap it on top of your head (it flattens roots).
Never let a blow-dryer anywhere near your head without misting on a heat-protecting spray first. "These products contain polymers that form a film on the surface of the hair that dissipates the heat," says cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta. Pay particular attention to the ends, which tend to get the most abuse and are also the most damaged and delicate. We love Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray—it shields from up to 450-degree heat whether your hair is wet or dry, so you can use it when restyling on day two (or three, or four).
Know where you fall in the ionic-dryer debate. Ionic dryers are awesome because they help hair's cuticle lie flat, eliminating frizz. Ionic dryers are not so awesome because they also reduce volume. If your hair's flat to begin with, skip the ionic setting.
Always dry your roots first (unless you have bangs). With your head flipped over, massage your roots while blasting them with warm air. "You want to get the roots up and off your head as fast as you can," says hairstylist Matt Fugate. (Learn how to blow-dry your bangs.)
Hold them flat with a brush and blast with hot air for five seconds. Then use the cool-shot button on your blow-dryer to lock them into place.
"If your hair is all one length, a straight, sleek blowout looks great," says Alli Webb, cofounder of Drybar blowout salons. "But if you have lots of layers, do something with more bounce and movement to show them off."
Work in two-inch sections, and wrap each one tightly around a brush as you pull it (tightly again) through your hair and follow with the nozzle. This is the difference between a glossy, glassy-looking blowout and an obvious DIY job.
Meaning, be sure it's always pointing down the hair shaft, and that it's at least three inches away from your hair at all times. That way you'll smooth the cuticle and add shine without completely cooking your hair.
Otherwise your hair will frizz. If it does, spritz each section with water moments before drying.
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We'll go to great lengths to score a smooth, bouncy blowout, but that doesn't mean we need to hire a pro: We rounded up ten tricks for getting a gorgeous blowout right at home. (Frizz and cowlicks don't stand a chance.)